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N.C. woman accused of shooting officer husband will not face death

KATHRYN THIER- Prosecutors said Thursday they will not seek the death penalty against a Mooresville woman accused of killing her Concord police officer husband while he slept.

The evidence that Misty Witherspoon stood to financially gain from Quinn Witherspoon's death is not "sufficiently strong" to warrant seeking the death penalty, Iredell County Assistant District Attorney Alan Martin said at a hearing.

Search warrant applications show the couple was having extreme financial difficulties at the time of Witherspoon's death..

Martin released new details about the case at the hearing. He said while Quinn Witherspoon slept on the sofa, Misty Witherspoon received a call from a creditor. The family was supposed to go camping that weekend, but she would now have to discuss with her husband whether to go on the trip or use the money to keep their utilities on, Martin said.

She then found her husband's service weapon and shot him at close range from behind, he said.

Although killing a police officer is another reason the state might request the death penalty, because Witherspoon was not on-duty at the time of his death, it does not apply in this case, Martin said.

Misty Witherspoon is charged with first-degree murder in her husband's Sept. 13 death.

Iredell Superior Court Judge Christopher Collier Thursday set a $500,000 secured bond for Misty Witherspoon, who has been held without bond at the Iredell jail since her arrest.

If she makes bond, she must remain in Iredell County, to see her children only when supervised and to not contact any of the state's witnesses who are not immediate family.

Her mother, Sandra Keller, and Quinn Witherspoon's father, Robert Witherspoon, both of Mooresville, spoke in her favor at the bond hearing.

Martin opposed Witherspoon's bond request, saying she lied to the police and claimed the death was an accident for a month before changing her story.

 Charlotte Observer (http://www.charlotte.com/)

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